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5 Effective Methods for Crawl Space Repair (Complete Guide)

Have you been putting off crawl space repair in your home? If so, now is the time to call a foundation repair contractor near you! The longer you ignore sagging piers or cracked beams, or other crawl space damage, the more extensive it becomes.

Additionally, a weak foundation allows a structure to sink and settle. When this happens, you might notice secondary damage including interior and exterior wall cracks, cracked floors, and more. To avoid these risks, it’s vital that you schedule crawl space repair when needed! Check out 5 methods your repair contractor might suggest for your home, so you know what to expect when it comes to needed fixes.

1. Shimming and Crawl Space Repair

Shims are small wedge-shaped pieces of wood. Contractors use these to help support sagging foundation beams, floorboards, and other construction pieces around a structure. Pounding shims between those support pieces helps lift a sagging section while also supplying needed support.

Pounding shims between piers and beams in a crawl space helps support your structure, dispersing its weight more evenly across that span. Those shims also strengthen beams along your home’s underside. In turn, the structure stays strong and even and avoids future sinking and settling.

2. Sump Pump Installation

Excess moisture in a crawl space typically leads to wood rot, mold, and other such damage. A sump pump is an excellent choice for protecting that space against water damage. Sump pumps start by collecting water in a pit, usually installed at the lowest point in the space.

The pump then directs water out of that pit and to a nearby drain or other such point, away from the crawl space. Sump pumps are an excellent choice for properties prone to flooding. The pump works to remove water quickly, before it evaporates and the piers and beams absorb that moisture.

3. Remove and Replace Wet Insulation in a Crawl Space!

Poor-quality insulation or improperly installed insulation can result in dampness held against piers and beams or a home’s underside. That dampness can result in costly damage! To avoid this, it’s vital that you remove damp or damaged insulation from a crawl space.

Additionally, new insulation is an excellent option for keeping dampness away from your home’s foundation. That insulation can also keep interior spaces dry and comfortable. In turn, your foundation stays protected over the years. You’ll also avoid otherwise unnecessary crawl space repair.

4. Interior Drainage Keeps a Crawl Space in Good Condition

One of the best ways to keep a crawl space in good repair is to prevent moisture from reaching that space in the first place! Interior drainage is then an excellent choice for needed crawl space repair.

A French drain system provides an excellent solution for excessive soil moisture. These drains use a series of pipes, buried just a few inches underground, to collect water and direct it away from a structure. This system keeps that moisture from reaching soil in the crawl space. In turn, the space stays dry and your foundation remains in good condition!

5. When a Home Needs Pier and Beam Replacement

In some cases, a home needs pier and beam replacement rather than repairs. Steel piers often replace wood pieces, or a contractor might install them next to existing piers. Strong steel offers more support for a structure than wood, resisting chipping and other such weakening.

Is Encapsulating Your Crawl Space Worth It?

Encapsulation involves installing a thick plastic tarp all around the crawl space. In many cases, a contractor might also add a dehumidifier in the space, or other such drainage system. Encapsulation keeps out moisture, humidity, and insects. Additionally, that plastic sheeting provides a more comfortable space for accessing a home’s underside.

Encapsulating a crawl space is an excellent investment! A clean, dry crawl space means less risk of pier and beam foundation damage. Also, a dry space means less risk of mold and mildew growth along a home’s underside. Once you’ve installed encapsulation, you can also use that crawl space for storage.

Above all, encapsulating keeps moisture from seeping into a home’s interior rooms. In turn, this reduces the risk of mold and mildew inside the home as well as damp concrete floors. Encapsulation also improves interior insulation, for more comfortable rooms and lower utility costs.

How Do You Dry Out a Dirt Crawl Space?

If you can’t afford full-scale encapsulation for your property’s crawl space, consider a vapor barrier. This includes a plastic sheeting placed over the ground alone. Vapor barriers block vapors from the soil and provide a dry surface for accessing the crawl space.

Also, a contractor can install a dehumidifier in a crawl space, removing trapped moisture. French drains also trap moisture in the soil and direct it away from the home. You can also combine these solutions for a dry crawl space! Additionally, a foundation repair contractor can offer suggestions for keeping your property’s crawl space dry and comfortable.

Should I Put Plastic Down In My Crawl Space?

While encapsulation and vapor barriers protect a crawl space and pier and beam foundations from damage, this doesn’t mean you should just spread some plastic sheeting over the area! First note that the plastic should be very durable, to withstand foot traffic and other risks of damage. Also, it’s good to put down several sheets and then secure them with bricks or cinder blocks as needed, to keep them in place.

Additionally, note that it’s vital that you keep the crawl space as dry as possible, even with plastic sheeting. This can include a dehumidifier, sump pump, or other equipment. Also, improper drainage can allow moisture to collect in a crawl space no matter how much sheeting you install!

Consequently, it’s helpful to have a foundation repair contractor perform a full inspection before installing sheeting. They can note any needed crawl space repair and advise the best waterproofing method. Also, professional waterproofing is usually far more effective than store-bought sheeting! Investing in encapsulation and other high-quality methods can ensure a clean, dry crawl space and a foundation in good condition over the years.